HOMILY – 2 LENT [B] 2018

Prepare for the unknown!  That was the message behind the early warning given by weather forecasters ahead of this week’s storm.  The advice to clear drains and secure property and be sensible with travel plans, hinted at the potential severity of what was coming.  We didn’t know for certain, but it seemed wise to trust the warnings and be prepared.

There’s an interesting connection here with the dilemma faced by Abraham when he heard the call to kill his only son, Isaac.  He had earlier heard his God promise that Isaac would be the beginning of a vast dynasty, and now this same God was demanding the boy’s life.  Prepare for the unknown, Abraham.  And he did.  He got everything ready, even convincing Isaac that God would provide.  His trust was tested to the extreme.  Some might argue Abraham was reckless, foolhardy – but his faith was enormous and what great image can be imagined for testing it?

The apostles are also challenged to prepare for the unknown.  On the mountain with Jesus they experience the inexplicable and receive a message beyond their understanding.  The change in Jesus’ appearance frightens them to the core of their being; his words about rising from the dead are met with blank stares – they had no idea what he was talking about.

It’s the same with us.  We don’t know what’s ahead in life.  We don’t always see or want to see what’s right in front of us.  We put our own interpretation on events and behaviour and get impatient if we have to wait for answers.  No one can fully prepare for the unknown and sometimes even what is obvious escapes our comprehension.

Lent is a large moment in time to prepare for the unknown, by getting closer to Jesus through prayer and service, and in this way developing a trust that takes the fear out of not knowing.